Bad news for cheaters: The hackers who broke into AshleyMadison.com's customer databases last month finally published the account information --including names, addresses and payment details -- of some 32 million users onto the dark Web.
For the unfamiliar, AshleyMadison.com is touted as a "cheating website" on which married men and women can seek extramarital partners.
When hackers first broke into the website's databases last month, they threatened to release private user information to the public unless Avid Life Media, the company that owns AshleyMadison.com, agreed to shut down the website (as well as sister site EstablishedMen.com).
Sometime yesterday, the hackers — identifying themselves as the Impact Team — posted 9.7 gigabytes of files to the dark Web using an Onion address (only accessible through a Tor browser).
The files, which include user information dating back to 2007, make the users' names, email addresses, home addresses and amounts paid pubic knowledge.
Each file is accompanied by a four-digit code — possibly the last four digits of the user's credit card number — identifying the transaction.
The Impact Team took responsibility for the leak, and wrote this on the site:
Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data. Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95 [percent] of actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters. Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you'll get over it.
ALM's fraudulent practices — as well as the obvious immorality of the website — appear to be the main motivating factors for the hack.
The company offered a service where a user can pay $19 to have his or her data deleted from the site; however, Impact Team discovered ALM was pocketing this fee and keeping customer information.
Following the leak, Avid Life released the following statement:
This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities...We will not sit idly by and allow these theives to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world.
As of this morning, both AshleyMadison.com and EstablishedMen.com remain up and running despite the breach.
We will update with any information as it becomes available.